The PGA DFS Breakdown offers data-driven analysis for each week’s slate, using the FantasyLabs Tools and metrics to highlight notable golfers.
The PGA TOUR heads to Las Vegas, Nevada, for the Shriner Children’s Open. TPC Summerlin will be the host and measures as a 7,255-yard par 71 with Bentgrass greens.
I’ll be highlighting the best cash game/single-entry plays on the DraftKings main slate, but these players are often great options in any contest.
My analysis will frequently reference Strokes Gained, a set of proprietary metrics generated by the PGA TOUR using millions of data points to calculate how many shots, on average, it takes a player to get the ball in the hole from every distance and situation.
Strokes Gained is now available in the FantasyLabs PGA Models.
There are a variety of Strokes Gained-related metrics, but the six main categories you need to know include:
- Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee (SG: Off-the-Tee)
- Strokes Gained: Approach (SG: Approach)
- Strokes Gained: Around-the-Green (SG: Around-the-Green)
- Strokes Gained: Putting (SG: Putting)
- Strokes Gained: Ball-Striking (SG: Ball-Striking), which is SG: Off-the-Tee + SG: Approach
- Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green (SG: Tee-to-Green), which is SG: Ball-Striking + SG: Around-the-Green
Don’t forget to check out two key metrics in our models — Perfect% and SimLeverage. You can find an explainer on those metrics here.
The cliff notes version is that you can use SimLeverage to quickly find leverage plays in tournaments, while Perfect% is great for finding the best price-considered plays for cash games.
The following players listed are based on DraftKings scoring and pricing.
PGA DFS Conviction Plays
Ludvig Aberg ($11,000 DraftKings)
If this looks familiar, it’s because we had Aberg featured in this section last week, and the Swedish prodigy did not disappoint. Aberg put on a show from tee to green, including gaining 8.6 strokes ball-striking. He ended up finishing in a tie for second after making the five-way playoff, which Luke List would end up winning.
Aberg now has four top-10 finishes in each of his past four starts, including a win and two top-fours. He’s an absolute machine, and DraftKings only raised his price by $100 from last week. Even sitting right next to defending champion Tom Kim at $10,900, Aberg remains the safest floor/ceiling play on the board this week, and I will be going right back to the well here.
Additional PGA DFS Cash/GPP Thoughts
If you do choose to fade Aberg, there is nothing wrong with going to Tom Kim, who, as previously mentioned, won this event last year. He’s been playing a ton of golf and looks very sharp right now, finishing T24 or better in each of his past six starts, including a T6 in his last start at the Cazoo Open de France on the DP World Tour.
After the two studs at the top, the only other guy above $9k that catches my eye is Adam Schenk, who, despite not playing of late, ended last season with a flurry. Schenk posted a T6 at the FedEx St. Jude before following that up with a T9 at the TOUR Championship. He really came into his own in 2023, finishing inside the top 10 on seven different occasions, including runner-up finishes at the Valspar and Charles Schwab Challenge. His course history at TPC Summerlin is also extremely strong, as Schenk has four top-20s in six career starts. He makes a great second golfer to pair with either Aberg or Kim or as a first golfer in balanced builds.
The $8k range, as usual, is littered with great options this week. The ones who stand out the most are J.J. Spaun, Tom Hoge, Andrew Putnam and Beau Hossler
Spaun and Hoge are a bit underpriced for their talent level in a field like this. Both have elite course history here as well, with Spaun posting three top 15s in six starts and Hoge finishing T25 or better in four of seven starts — including two top-10s. They are both also playing exceptional golf of late, as Spaun has not missed a cut since the Travelers back in June and is coming off a T11 at the Fortinet his last time out. If you roll back 24 rounds in this field, you’ll see that Spaun ranks No. 1 in SG: Tee-to-Green.
Hoge has been no slouch himself of late, finishing T13 last week at the Sanderson Farms, marking his fourth top 20 over his past five starts.
Andrew Putnam could not make a putt at the Fortinet but ranks fourth in this field on approach over his past 24 rounds and has finished T18, T12, and T11 on three of his past four trips to TPC Summerlin.
Hossler has a similar history at this event, failing to miss the cut in each of his past five trips while posting a T7 back in 2018. He’s been rolling along of late as well, finishing T30 or better in five of his past six starts. He’s far too cheap for his upside here at $8,200 and will likely be popular in high stakes cash.
Moving to the $7k range, all of Davis Thompson, Alex Noren, S.H Kim, Ben Griffin, Callum Tarren, Matt NeSmith, and Chad Ramey will be in play for me.
Thompson might be the most underpriced player in the field this week. He kept his strong play rolling last week at the Sanderson Farms, where he would finish T16 and gain over seven strokes ball-striking. DraftKings somehow decided to lower his price by $400 after that. Thompson ranks ninth in this field in SG: Total over his past 24 rounds but is the 25th most expensive golfer on the slate. Oh, by the way, Thompson finished T12 here last year in his first career start at TPC Summerlin. Make it make sense.
Alex Noren is always in play when he’s in this mid-$7k range. He will never blow you away with his ball-striking but boasts one of the best short games in this field, which should carry him to another made cut. Noren finished T44 here in his debut last year.
S.H. Kim really let everyone down last week after his electric performance at the Fortinet. I am willing to forgive him for it, especially when he was $9,400 last week and gets a ridiculous $1,800 price drop this week. Kim finished T4 at the Shriners last year and ranks 24th in the field in SG: Tee-to-Green over his past 48 rounds. I like him to bounce back in a big way this week.
Callum Tarren is going to win on TOUR one of these days. He’s an exquisite ball-striker who really struggles with the putter, which is a claim you can make about a lot of guys. However, Tarren finished T7 two starts ago at the Fortinet and then gained over seven strokes from tee-to-green last week en route to a T43. Overall, the Englishman sits eighth in that department over his past 24 rounds and ranks ninth in SG: Total in the same time frame. He missed the cut on the number here last year and is too cheap for his upside at $7,200.
Ben Griffin kind of scares me a bit this week after choking away the trophy last week in Mississippi. However, he still posted a runner-up finish and got his price reduced by a whopping $900, which makes almost no sense. He’s an outstanding putter and struck his irons incredibly well last week.
Matt NeSmith was almost featured in the conviction play section due to his ridiculous course history. He’s made four career starts at TPC Summerlin and has finished T18, T8, T14, and then T2 last season. He’s also coming in with pretty decent form after a T25 last week at the Sanderson Farms. There’s a strong chance NeSmith is the highest-owned player in the $7k range this week in high stakes.
Finally, Chad Ramey has been very quietly playing some great golf of late, making seven of his past nine cuts with three top-20s over his past five. He’s also made both of his cuts at this event with a pair of top 30s. Ramey sits 18th in SG: Total over his past 24 rounds, and people have seemed to forget this is a former PGA TOUR champion. He’s far too cheap this week at just $7,000.
Best of luck this week!